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System Funding Assessment

System Funding Assessment


Sport NZ is undertaking an assessment of how the play, active recreation and sport system is funded. This will enable us to develop a policy position and recommendations to help outline a more sustainable model for the future. It should not, however, be seen as an indication that a change in funding approach is planned or imminent.  


Many of us are aware of some of the issues affecting the financial sustainability of the play, active recreation and sport sector, many of which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A reliance on Class 4 Gaming and the lack of obvious funding sources for sport and recreation infrastructure have been evident recently. Issues related to the cost of participation can also pose an additional barrier for some individuals and whānau.  

Sport NZ facilitated a futures approach, together with the sector in 2020, to identify a preferred future for physical activity in Aotearoa where many of these issues, as well as opportunities to be more sustainable, were identified.  

Why are we doing this? 

Sport NZ does not currently have a clear, well-evidenced policy position on how to ensure funding for play, active recreation and sport is sustainable and fit for purpose, or a comprehensive picture of all the ways in which the sector is funded and any issues that the current funding model creates.

This kaupapa will put us in a better position to advocate for any changes that may be necessary to help to bring about the preferred future for physical activity, identified in the sector futures work.  

The process we're taking 

  • This work will involve consultation with stakeholders across the system and spans all funding that is part of the play, active recreation and sport system. The first phase is to get a big picture of the current funding system, including levels of alcohol sponsorship, across all levels of play, active recreation and sport. We are gathering this information through a survey as well as building on information that we already hold from previous engagements. 

If you wish to complete this survey on behalf of your organisation then please follow the link below. The survey will be open until Friday 10 February.

  • A Stakeholder Reference Group is being established that can feed into this work. This will include members from various organisations across the sector.  
  • We will also be consulting with other funders of the play, active recreation and sport system so they have the opportunity to feed into this kaupapa.    
  • After the survey data has been analysed, a draft report will be produced setting out our understanding of the current funding system and any issues it creates.  
  • The second phase of this kaupapa will then involve considering any changes that could be made to the existing funding model to bring the preferred future of physical activity to life and ensure a sustainable model going forward.  
  • We expect the final report with recommendations will be finalised by mid-2023. 

How does this link to the review into Lotto funding? 

The current review into Lotto funding is independent of this project, but the findings from that review (and any other relevant reviews of funding that supports the system) will be taken into account in this project.  

More information 

If you would like more information on the System Funding Assessment or would like to find out how you can be more closely involved in this work, please contact


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